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Columbia Law School

2017

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Full-Text Articles in Law

International Gas Outlook And Implications For Developing Tanzania’S Gas Projects, Nicolas Maennling, Perrine Toledano, Thomas Mitro Dec 2017

International Gas Outlook And Implications For Developing Tanzania’S Gas Projects, Nicolas Maennling, Perrine Toledano, Thomas Mitro

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

In the frame of its partnership with Uongozi – Tanzania, CCSI drafted a brief that reviews recent international gas developments, the outlook in this regard and implications for the development of proposed offshore gas projects in Tanzania. As the country aims to benefit from its gas discoveries by increasing its domestic gas use, it also outlines some of the trade-offs and considerations that need to be taken into account when negotiating the domestic gas allocation.


Ccsi Submission To Un Special Rapporteur On Extreme Poverty Re: United States Country Visit, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment Dec 2017

Ccsi Submission To Un Special Rapporteur On Extreme Poverty Re: United States Country Visit, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Professor Philip Alston, will conduct a country visit to the United States in December 2017. In response to his call for input, CCSI sent a submission focused the United States’ role in the international investment regime, and the United States’ international investment agreements (IIAs), noting that the IIAs to which the US is a party raise tensions, and can potentially create conflicts, with the US’s human rights obligations, including those that apply extraterritorially, and exacerbate conditions of poverty, extreme poverty and inequality.


Comments On The World Bank’S Draft Guidance Note For Borrowers Ess5: Land Acquisition, Restrictions On Land Use And Involuntary Resettlement, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment Dec 2017

Comments On The World Bank’S Draft Guidance Note For Borrowers Ess5: Land Acquisition, Restrictions On Land Use And Involuntary Resettlement, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

In December 2017, CCSI sent comments to the World Bank regarding its Draft Guidance Note for Borrowers ESS5: Land Acquisition, Restrictions on Land Use and Involuntary Resettlement.

CCSI’s overarching comments on the Guidance Note were that:

  • Its description of affected persons and their rights contradicts and undermines international consensus on land governance supported by the Bank
  • It fails to provide any guidance on when involuntary resettlement should be considered unavoidable or how Borrowers can prioritize project designs that actually minimize displacement or other harms
  • It fails to put rights-holders (or “affected stakeholders”) at the center of solutions
  • Its discussion of …


At The Intersection Of Land Grievances And Legal Liability: The Need To Reconsider Contract Rights And Expectations At The Supranational Level, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Lise Johnson, Sam Szoke-Burke Dec 2017

At The Intersection Of Land Grievances And Legal Liability: The Need To Reconsider Contract Rights And Expectations At The Supranational Level, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Lise Johnson, Sam Szoke-Burke

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

This Article explores how host governments’ legal obligations can affect or constrain their ability to address “land grievances,” which are defined as concerns raised by local individuals or communities in response to negative impacts of land-based investments. Obligations under international investment law, international human rights law, and investor-state contracts can be in tension or can directly conflict with one another, creating complexity for governments seeking to respond to land grievances. To explore the legal considerations that governments must navigate in this context, this Article considers several options that governments could pursue to respond to land grievances. In all of the …


Amicus Brief On Rights To Information And Public Participation In Colombia, Brooke Guven, Sam Szoke-Burke, Pedro Villegas Dec 2017

Amicus Brief On Rights To Information And Public Participation In Colombia, Brooke Guven, Sam Szoke-Burke, Pedro Villegas

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

CCSI submitted an amicus brief to the Constitutional Court of Colombia concerning the Tutela hearing of Mansarovar Energy Colombia Ltd. v. Tribunal Administrativo del Meta (The Consulta Popular of Cumaral, Meta). The hearing concerned a challenge by Mansarovar Energy Colombia Limited of a municipal-wide referendum (the Consulta Popular) concerning whether or not the extraction of hydrocarbons should be permitted in the municipality of Cumaral. The municipality voted 97% against allowing the extraction of hydrocarbons.

CCSI’s brief focused on the international human rights law dimensions of the case, given that Colombia’s Constitution renders the government’s international human rights law obligations …


Dignity Denied: Religious Exemptions And Lgbt Elder Services, Movement Advancement Project (Map), Public Rights/Private Conscience Project, Sage - Advocacy Services For Lgbt Elders Dec 2017

Dignity Denied: Religious Exemptions And Lgbt Elder Services, Movement Advancement Project (Map), Public Rights/Private Conscience Project, Sage - Advocacy Services For Lgbt Elders

Center for Gender & Sexuality Law

LGBT older adults, like many older Americans in the United States, rely on a network of service providers as they age–for community programming and congregate meals, for health care, and for housing ranging from independent living to skilled nursing. Research finds that a majority of these services are offered by religiously affiliated organizations.

While many of these religiously affiliated facilities provide quality care for millions of older adults, there is a coordinated effort to pass religious exemption laws, issue executive orders and agency guidance, and to litigate court cases to allow individuals, businesses, and even government contractors and grantees to …


Dignity Denied: Religious Exemptions And Lgbt Elder Services, Elizabeth Boylan Dec 2017

Dignity Denied: Religious Exemptions And Lgbt Elder Services, Elizabeth Boylan

Center for Gender & Sexuality Law

LGBT older adults, like many older Americans in the United States, rely on a network of service providers as they age–for community programming and congregate meals, for health care, and for housing ranging from independent living to skilled nursing. Research finds that a majority of these services are offered by religiously affiliated organizations.

The report was launched with a panel discussion program hosted at Columbia University's Union Theological Seminary on Friday, December 15th, 2017, detailing the increased risks LGBT older adults face as a result of recent religious exemption laws and policies.


Comments On Preliminary Draft 3 [Black Letter And Comments], Jane C. Ginsburg, June M. Besek Dec 2017

Comments On Preliminary Draft 3 [Black Letter And Comments], Jane C. Ginsburg, June M. Besek

Faculty Scholarship

The absence of stated principles underlying the articulation of the black letter and comments – principles that the Reporters have said they will provide at the end of the process – continues to trouble the Draft. It remains unclear whether the Reporters are synthesizing positive law, or seeking to reform it. We are not contending that ALI should not push for law reform (even though Principles or some other form might provide a preferable and more transparent vehicle for aspirational endeavors), but we do think the objectives and methodology should be clear from the outset. We remain concerned that ALI’s …


230+ Law And Economics Professors Urge President To Remove Isds From Nafta, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment Oct 2017

230+ Law And Economics Professors Urge President To Remove Isds From Nafta, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

CCSI helped launch a letter signed by over 230 law and economics professors urging President Trump to remove ISDS provisions from NAFTA. As the letter notes, the ISDS mechanism “undermines the important roles of our domestic and democratic institutions, threatens domestic sovereignty, and weakens the rule of law.” The letter builds upon the center’s past work, including a similar letter published last year calling on Congress to reject the Trans Pacific Partnership for its inclusion of ISDS, and broader analyses of both the threat that ISDS poses to domestic US law and of the ISDS provisions that were included in …


Green Foreign Direct Investment In Developing Countries, Lise Johnson Oct 2017

Green Foreign Direct Investment In Developing Countries, Lise Johnson

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

The message is by now clear: our global economy must be fundamentally reoriented and redeployed in order to achieve the SDGs and the commitments of the Paris Climate Agreement. This requires action by all stakeholders, including non-financial and financial firms, debt and equity investors, government policymakers, and consumers. In terms of the amount of money required, it has been estimated that meeting the SDGs will require $5 to $7 trillion annually, with investment needs for developing countries amounting to roughly $3.3 to $4.5 trillion per year. While a big picture view of and strategic thinking regarding the entire economic ecosystem …


Designing A Legal Regime To Capture Capital Gains Tax On Indirect Transfers Of Mineral And Petroleum Rights: A Practical Guide, Perrine Toledano, John Bush, Jacky Mandelbaum Oct 2017

Designing A Legal Regime To Capture Capital Gains Tax On Indirect Transfers Of Mineral And Petroleum Rights: A Practical Guide, Perrine Toledano, John Bush, Jacky Mandelbaum

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

When a local asset (or a right relating to such asset) is sold, a country will generally have jurisdiction to levy a capital gains tax on the sale, both under domestic law and international treaty. This is called taxation of a “direct” transfer of a local asset. However, taxation becomes increasingly complicated when a company located offshore owns the local asset. Further difficulties arise when the local asset is held by a chain of corporations located in tax havens. An “indirect” transfer occurs when the shares of the domestic subsidiary, the shares of the foreign company with a branch in …


India’S Revised Model Bit: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back?, Jesse Coleman, Kanika Gupta Oct 2017

India’S Revised Model Bit: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back?, Jesse Coleman, Kanika Gupta

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

In December 2015, the Indian government approved the final text of its revised model bilateral investment treaty (BIT). Shortly thereafter, in February 2016, India published a joint interpretative statement to clarify its understanding of certain treaty provisions found in existing Indian treaties. These recent developments in Indian investment treaty policy are products of a multi-year review process ,prompted at least in part by the 2011 finding against India in the White Industries claim - the first such known finding against the state – and by several notices of dispute received following the determination in that case.


The Challenges Of Supporting Highly Mobile, Military-Connectedchildren In School Transitions, Center For Public Research And Leadership, Military Child Education Coalition (Mcec) Oct 2017

The Challenges Of Supporting Highly Mobile, Military-Connectedchildren In School Transitions, Center For Public Research And Leadership, Military Child Education Coalition (Mcec)

Center for Public Research and Leadership

Military families know the drill. They know what it means to pack up and move to a different installation, a new house, a new life — often with very little notice. Military family websites and YouTube videos abound with moving checklists and how-tos for all types of families and relocations. For parents, however, it is the school transition for their children that can make a permanent change of station (PCS) especially daunting. Indeed, changing schools — educational disruption — is regularly identified by military families as the most difficult of part of moving.

At the request of the Military Child …


Joint Submission To The Human Rights Committee: Draft General Comment 36 On Article 6, On The Right To Life, American Civil Liberties Union (Aclu), Human Rights Clinic, International Commission Of Jurists, Open Society Justice Initiative, Rights Watch (Uk) Oct 2017

Joint Submission To The Human Rights Committee: Draft General Comment 36 On Article 6, On The Right To Life, American Civil Liberties Union (Aclu), Human Rights Clinic, International Commission Of Jurists, Open Society Justice Initiative, Rights Watch (Uk)

Human Rights Institute

Columbia Law School’s Human Rights Clinic, the International Commission of Jurists, the Open Society Justice Initiative, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Rights Watch (UK) welcome the opportunity to provide the Human Rights Committee (the Committee) with the following observations on its draft General Comment on Article 6 (the draft) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (the Covenant) on the right to life, ahead of its second reading.


Joint Civil Society Statement On Armed Drones, Sophia Wistenhube Oct 2017

Joint Civil Society Statement On Armed Drones, Sophia Wistenhube

Human Rights Institute

I am presenting a statement that has been endorsed by 46 civil society organisations, from 17 countries. We are committed to preventing and mitigating harm, including violations of international human rights and humanitarian law, from the use of drones in domestic and international deployments of force.


Columbia Law School Think Tank Files Amicus Brief In Scotus Case, Masterpiece Cakeshop V. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, Public Rights/Private Conscience Project Oct 2017

Columbia Law School Think Tank Files Amicus Brief In Scotus Case, Masterpiece Cakeshop V. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, Public Rights/Private Conscience Project

Center for Gender & Sexuality Law

Columbia Law School’s Public Rights/Private Conscience Project and Muslim Advocates filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court case Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission on behalf of a coalition of 15 diverse civil rights and faith organizations. At issue in Masterpiece Cakeshop is whether the owners of a Colorado public establishment may, due to their own private religious beliefs, refuse service to individuals because of their sexual orientation.


Columbia Law Experts Denounce Federal Guidance Allowing Religious And Moral Discrimination In Contraceptive Coverage, Public Rights/Private Conscience Project Oct 2017

Columbia Law Experts Denounce Federal Guidance Allowing Religious And Moral Discrimination In Contraceptive Coverage, Public Rights/Private Conscience Project

Center for Gender & Sexuality Law

Columbia Law School’s Public Rights/Private Conscience Project (PRPCP) condemns the Trump administration for issuing sweeping new rules today that roll back the Affordable Care Act (ACA)’s birth control benefit, by broadening exemptions for employers who claim religious or moral objections to offering birth control to their workers. These regulations place the religious and moral views of employers above the health and wellbeing of their workers and gut the contraceptive coverage provision of the ACA by dramatically reducing access to affordable birth control. Rather than protecting religious freedom for all Americans, these regulations are part of the current administration’s ongoing effort …


Columbia Law Experts Denounce Doj Religious Liberty Guidance As Attack On Religious Liberty And Fundamental Equality Rights, Public Rights/Private Conscience Project Oct 2017

Columbia Law Experts Denounce Doj Religious Liberty Guidance As Attack On Religious Liberty And Fundamental Equality Rights, Public Rights/Private Conscience Project

Center for Gender & Sexuality Law

Columbia Law School’s Public Rights/Private Conscience Project (PRPCP) denounces the memorandum released today by the Department of Justice (DOJ) entitled the “Federal Memorandum for Religious Liberty Protections.” This document, and its implementation guidance misinterpret the meaning and scope of religious liberty under the Constitution and the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), demonstrating this administration’s continued commitment to elevating a particular set of religious beliefs over the safety and equality rights of women, LGBTQ people, people of color, and religious minorities.


Comment On Us Trade And Investment Agreements Submitted To Ustr, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment Jul 2017

Comment On Us Trade And Investment Agreements Submitted To Ustr, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Comments to USTR Re: Review of US Trade and Investment Agreements (July 17, 2017): CCSI, in response to the United States Trade Representative’s request for public comment to inform its performance review of US trade and investment agreements, submitted Comments that focused on the impact that investment protection provisions, enforceable through investor-state dispute settlement, have on rights-compliant, inclusive sustainable development within the United States and abroad.


How Oil And Gas Companies Can Help Meet The Global Goals On Energy And Climate Change, Lisa E. Sachs, Nicolas Maennling, Perrine Toledano Jun 2017

How Oil And Gas Companies Can Help Meet The Global Goals On Energy And Climate Change, Lisa E. Sachs, Nicolas Maennling, Perrine Toledano

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

The sustainable development goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement lay out a global consensus on the need to curb human-induced climate change and to achieve sustainable development. These concepts are linked. The urgency of addressing climate change is critical for global efforts to reduce poverty and advance sustainable development, but also climate-change mitigation must be pursued in a manner consistent with ending poverty, promoting economic development, respecting human rights, and ensuring social inclusion. CCSI and the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) have published a briefing note summarizing the ways in which international oil and gas companies can help expand …


Out Of The Shadows: Recommendations To Advance Transparency In The Use Of Lethal Force, Human Rights Clinic, Sana'a Center For Strategic Studies Jun 2017

Out Of The Shadows: Recommendations To Advance Transparency In The Use Of Lethal Force, Human Rights Clinic, Sana'a Center For Strategic Studies

Human Rights Institute

The U.S. government’s secretive and expanding use of “targeted killings” and drone strikes since the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 is highly controversial. For many years, such killings were carried out as part of counter-terrorism operations and in near-complete secrecy by the Cen- tral Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the U.S. military’s Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), including in Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen, far from any traditional and recognized battlefield. The government did not meaningfully explain their legal basis. The U.S. government has admitted that it killed between 2,867–3,138 people between 2009–2016, in an estimated 526 strikes in areas the …


Possible Changes To U.S. Policies On The Use Of Force In Counterterrorism Operations, American Civil Liberties Union (Aclu), Amnesty International, Center For Civilians In Conflict (Civic), Center For Constitutional Rights, Human Rights Clinic, Coalition For Peace Action, Human Rights First, Human Rights Watch, Interfaith Network On Drone Warfare, National Religious Campaign Against Torture, Open Society Foundations, Openthegovernment Jun 2017

Possible Changes To U.S. Policies On The Use Of Force In Counterterrorism Operations, American Civil Liberties Union (Aclu), Amnesty International, Center For Civilians In Conflict (Civic), Center For Constitutional Rights, Human Rights Clinic, Coalition For Peace Action, Human Rights First, Human Rights Watch, Interfaith Network On Drone Warfare, National Religious Campaign Against Torture, Open Society Foundations, Openthegovernment

Human Rights Institute

We write today to express our deep concern regarding reports that the administration is considering weakening current policy standards for the use of force in counterterrorism operations.


Joint Statement By The Council On American-Islamic Relations Of New York & Columbia Law School’S Public Rights/Private Conscience Project, Council On American-Islamic Relations Of New York, Public Rights/Private Conscience Project May 2017

Joint Statement By The Council On American-Islamic Relations Of New York & Columbia Law School’S Public Rights/Private Conscience Project, Council On American-Islamic Relations Of New York, Public Rights/Private Conscience Project

Center for Gender & Sexuality Law

As advocates for free exercise of religion, civil rights, and religious pluralism, we are deeply concerned that President Trump’s recently signed Executive Order “Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty” will serve to limit, not protect, religious freedom. The order was signed on May 4, 2017, in a ceremony that included Christian musician Steven Curtis Chapman and statements by Pentecostal televangelist Paula White, Baptist Pastor Jack Graham, Catholic Archbishop Donald Wuerl, Rabbi Marvin Heir, and Vice President Mike Pence. While the executive order — unlike a prior leaked draft — does not single out particular religious beliefs for special protection, we …


Potential Consequences Of Trump’S “Religious Freedom” Executive Order, Public Rights/Private Conscience Project May 2017

Potential Consequences Of Trump’S “Religious Freedom” Executive Order, Public Rights/Private Conscience Project

Center for Gender & Sexuality Law

President Trump is set to sign a far-reaching and constitutionally problematic executive order today. Although a draft of the final order has not yet been released, it will likely mirror, at least in part, a similar draft that was leaked earlier this year.


Five Key Questions To Ask About The New Executive Order On Religious Liberty, Public Rights/Private Conscience Project May 2017

Five Key Questions To Ask About The New Executive Order On Religious Liberty, Public Rights/Private Conscience Project

Center for Gender & Sexuality Law

In February, a draft of an Executive Order (EO) on religious liberty was leaked from the Trump Administration. This order would have had sweeping effects on the enforcement of federal law by all government agencies. In addition to harming LGBTQ communities, it would have had ramifications for unmarried pregnant and parenting women, patients seeking contraceptive care, religious minorities, cohabitating adults and others. President Trump is expected to sign an updated draft of the EO this week. The Public Rights/Private Conscience Project (PRPCP) has outlined five questions to ask when analyzing and reporting on the new order.


Columbia Law School Think Tank Provides Testimony To New York City Council On Gender And Racial Equity Training, Public Rights/Private Conscience Project Apr 2017

Columbia Law School Think Tank Provides Testimony To New York City Council On Gender And Racial Equity Training, Public Rights/Private Conscience Project

Center for Gender & Sexuality Law

April 27, 2017 — On Monday, April 24, Ashe McGovern, Legislative and Policy Director of Columbia Law School’s Public Rights/Private Conscience Project (PRPCP) testified before the New York City Council Committee on Women’s Issues on a bill that would require several city agencies to undergo training on “implicit bias, discrimination, cultural competency and structural inequity, including with respect to gender, race and sexual orientation.”


Columbia Law School Think Tank Submits Amicus Brief In Transgender Rights Case, Public Rights/Private Conscience Project Apr 2017

Columbia Law School Think Tank Submits Amicus Brief In Transgender Rights Case, Public Rights/Private Conscience Project

Center for Gender & Sexuality Law

April 25, 2017 – Columbia Law School’s Public Rights/Private Conscience Project (PRPCP) and Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP filed an amicus brief yesterday with the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in a case that raises the important question of whether employers can use religious liberty arguments to avoid compliance with federal non-discrimination laws. Specifically, it considers whether employers have the right to engage in sex discrimination if motivated by religious principles. The case, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes Inc., was brought on behalf of Aimee Stephens, a funeral home director who was fired …


A Collaborative Approach To Human Rights Impact Assessments, Sam Szoke-Burke, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Tulika Bansal, Manon Aubrey, Adrien Le Louarn, Jeremy Perelman, Marie Poirot Mar 2017

A Collaborative Approach To Human Rights Impact Assessments, Sam Szoke-Burke, Kaitlin Y. Cordes, Tulika Bansal, Manon Aubrey, Adrien Le Louarn, Jeremy Perelman, Marie Poirot

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

This discussion paper, co-authored with the Danish Institute for Human Rights and the Sciences Po Law School Clinic, proposes a new approach to conducting human rights impact assessments (HRIAs) of business operations or projects, which brings together project-affected people, the company, and other stakeholders to jointly design and implement an assessment. The aim of this new approach is to address one of the key challenges of current HRIA practices: the limited engagement and participation of relevant stakeholders, which can undermine effectiveness and trust.

The paper outlines factors that will affect the effectiveness of such an approach and describes a number …


Briefing Note: A Collaborative Approach To Human Rights Impact Assessments, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment, Danish Institute For Human Rights, Sciences Po Law School Clinic Mar 2017

Briefing Note: A Collaborative Approach To Human Rights Impact Assessments, Columbia Center On Sustainable Investment, Danish Institute For Human Rights, Sciences Po Law School Clinic

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

This briefing note, co-authored with the Danish Institute for Human Rights and the Sciences Po Law School Clinic, outlines a new approach to conducting human rights impact assessments (HRIAs) of business operations or projects, which brings together project-affected people, the company, and other stakeholders to jointly design and implement an assessment. The aim of this new approach is to address one of the key challenges of current HRIA practices: the limited engagement and participation of relevant stakeholders, which can undermine effectiveness and trust. It accompanies a more in-depth discussion paper on similar issues, entitled A Collaborative Approach to Human Rights …


Mechanisms For Consultation And Free, Prior And Informed Consent In The Negotiation Of Investment Contracts, Sam Szoke-Burke, Kaitlin Y. Cordes Mar 2017

Mechanisms For Consultation And Free, Prior And Informed Consent In The Negotiation Of Investment Contracts, Sam Szoke-Burke, Kaitlin Y. Cordes

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment Staff Publications

Investor-state contracts are regularly used in low-and middle-income countries to grant concessions for land-based investments, such as agricultural or forestry projects. These contracts are rarely negotiated in the presence of, or with meaningful input from, the people who risk being adversely affected by the project. This has serious implications for requirements for meaningful consultation, and, where applicable, free, prior, and informed consent (FPIC), and is particularly important in situations in which investor-state contracts grant the investor rights to lands or resources over which the community has legitimate claims.

The paper explores how consultation and FPIC processes can be integrated into …